Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics

The Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics has been awarded to outstanding researchers in the field of theoretical physics since 2010.

Laureate 2023: Edward Witten © OFC LLC

Together with the Wolfgang Pauli Centre of DESY and the University of Hamburg, the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY and the two Clusters of Excellence "CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter" and "Quantum Universe" of the University of Hamburg, we honor excellent international scientists in theoretical physics every year. Until 2017, only research from the field of photon science was honored; since 2018, all areas of theoretical physics are considered.

The Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics comes with a prize money of 137,036 euros, making it one of the highest endowed awards for physics in Germany. The prize money is an allusion to Sommerfeld's fine structure constant, which plays an important role in theoretical physics.

Laureate 2023: Edward Witten

Previous award winners

Nicola Spaldin (2022) Prof. Eugene Demler (2021) Prof. Valery Rubakov (2020) Prof. Matthias Troyer (2019) Prof. Hirosi Ooguri (2018) Prof. Andrew Millis (2017) Prof. Mikhail Katsnelson (2016)

Prof. Dr. Ignacio Cirac (2015) Prof. Antoine Georges (2014) Prof. Chris H. Greene (2013) Prof. Shaul Mukamel (2012) Prof. Peter Zoller (2011) Prof. Maciej Lewenstein (2010)

Information about the previous award winners and the respective field of research can be found here.

More information.



Jury and nomination

The jury consists of local, national and international representatives. Nomination is open to the physical research institutes in Hamburg, the board of the German Physical Society as well as the previous award winners and jury members.


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